K-State returns home to face Tennessee Tech

Game 3

Tennessee Tech (1-0) at Kansas State (2-0)

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006

Bramlage Coliseum (13,340) in Manhattan, Kan.


Game Information:

Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. Central

Series: K-State leads 1-0
(W, 89-61 in Portland, Ore., on 12/27/85)

TV: None

Webcast: www.k-statesports.com
(Powercat Passport subscription required)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates across Kansas), Yahoo! Radio

Talent: Brian Smoller (Play-by-Play) and Ben Boyle (color)

Tickets: Limited number available at (800) 221.CATS (2287)


K-State returns home to face battle with Tennessee Tech on Saturday

Kansas State returns home on Saturday night after a successful midweek trip to Rutgers, as the Wildcats host Tennessee Tech (1-0) of the Ohio Valley Conference at Bramlage Coliseum at 8:05 p.m.  Only 500 tickets remain available for the game and can be purchased for $15 at the ticket office or by calling (800) 221.CATS.

The contest will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network with Brian Smoller (play-by-play) and Ben Boyle (color) calling the action.  Fans may view a webcast of the game on the school’s website at www.k-statesports.com.  There is a subscription fee to view the website as it is apart of the Powercat Passport program.

K-State has won 20 of its last 24 games against non-conference opponents, including a remarkable 18-1 (.947) mark at home.  In fact, the Wildcats have won 11 consecutive games against non-conference foes at Bramlage Coliseum dating back to 2004-05.  Ironically, the team avenged their last non-conference home loss on Wednesday with a 55-41 victory over Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.  It was the program’s first non-conference road victory since a 79-66 win over Wichita State on Dec. 14, 2002, snapping a five-game losing streak. 

K-State and Tennessee Tech will be meeting for just the second time in their respective histories and for the first time at Bramlage Coliseum.  The Wildcats posted a 89-61 win over the Eagles at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 27, 1985.  Head coach Bob Huggins is 6-2 all-time against Tennessee Tech, including 3-1 in home games. 


Noting the Rutgers Game

Kansas State used a stellar defensive effort to record its first non-conference road victory in four seasons, as the Wildcats posted a 55-41 win over Big East foe Rutgers at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. on Wednesday night.  It was the program’s first non-league road victory since a 79-66 win over Wichita State on Dec. 14, 2002 and the first in a true’ road opener since posting a 71-50 victory over UMKC on Dec. 3, 1997.  Head coach Bob Huggins became the first Wildcat coach to win his first road game since Dana Altman did it against Hawai’i on Dec. 18, 1993.

Kansas State held Rutgers to just nine field goals on 19.1 percent shooting to improve head coach Bob Huggins to a perfect 5-0 all-time against the Scarlet Knights. The nine field goals allowed were the fewest by an opponent since the Wildcats allowed Washburn a school-record low seven in a 23-15 K-State win on Dec. 6, 1940, while the 41 points were the fewest by an opponent since Arkansas-Pine Bluff managed just 39 on Dec. 4, 2002.  It was the fewest points allowed an opponent on their own floor since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986-87 and fewest since a 41-39 win over Nebraska at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb., on March 6, 1984.  The team once again dominated the glass against the Scarlet Knights, grabbing 50 or more rebounds for the second straight game.  After two games, the Wildcats hold a Big 12-leading 18.5 advantage in rebounding margin.


Junior David Hoskins and senior Lance Harris led the way individually for K-State.  Hoskins paced the squad with 14 points, while Harris tallied his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.  Junior Blake Young had a team-best six assists and three steals to go with five rebounds and two points.  Senior Akeem Wright was second on the team in rebounds with eight, while totaling four points, three assists and a block. 

Getting Defensive

Kansas State once again demonstrated trademark Bob Huggins’ defensive basketball on Wednesday’s win over Rutgers, as the Wildcats grabbed 50+ rebounds for the second consecutive contest to go along with 15 forced turnovers.  The team also held their second straight opponent to 60 points or less and to below 40 percent shooting from the field by allowing the Scarlet Knights just 41 points on just 19.1 percent shooting.  It was the fewest points allowed an opponent since December 2002 and the fewest allowed on an opposing team’s court since March 1984. The Wildcats rank among the top 5 in nearly every defensive category in the Big 12, including first in rebounding margin (+18.5) and offensive rebounds (24.00), second in defensive rebounds (31.5) and field goal percentage defense (30.0), third in scoring defense (50.5) and blocked shots (6.00) and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (26.8). 

Get These Guys Some Windex

Kansas State has posted 50 or more rebounds in back-to-back games this season.  The 59 rebounds in the opener against William & Mary were the most by a Wildcat team since collecting 61 in a triple-overtime loss at Oregon State on Dec. 6, 2003 and the most in a regulation game since totaling a Bramlage Coliseum-record 62 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16, 1998.  The mark was a mere 15 shy of the school-record 74 set against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 2, 1967.  The last time a K-State team surpassed 50 rebounds in a game prior to this season was a 54-board effort against Savannah State on Jan. 1, 2004.  The Wildcats also tallied 32 offensive rebounds against the Tribe, which is thought to be the most in school history.


Harris Has Stepped Up His Game

Bob Huggins has always been a coach that has gotten the most out of his talent and senior guard Lance Harris has been a prime example of that influence.  The Wildcats’ most consistent performer in the early-going, the Columbia, Mo., native has averaged a team-leading 16.5 points and 10.0 rebounds through two games.  Harris registered his first career double-double in the win over Rutgers with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds just four days after opening the season with a team-high 22-point effort against William & Mary.  It was his fourth 20-point game of his career.  Harris ranks 14th in the Big 12 in scoring, while he is tied with Kansas’ Julian Wright for fourth in rebounding.  A member of the Big 12’s All-Reserve team as a sophomore after averaging 10.4 points mostly off the bench, Harris has averaged double-figure scoring the past two seasons (10.5 ppg.) but just 2.3 rebounds.

Block Party

Through two games, Kansas State is averaging 6.0 blocked shots per game, including an eight-block performance in the season opening win over William & Mary on Nov. 11.  The eight blocks against the Tribe is the most by a Wildcat team since blocking nine shots against Longwood on Dec. 5, 2005.  The team’s per game average is the third-highest in the Big 12 behind Texas (10.33 per game) and Kansas (7.00 per game). 

At no surprise, freshman center Jason Bennett, the tallest player in school history at 7-foot-3, is the team-leader in blocked shots so far this season with a 3.5 per game average.  He ranks second in the Big 12 behind fellow rookie Texas’ Kevin Durant (3.67 per game).  Bennett’s four blocks against William & Mary in the opener were the most by an individual player since  Dramane Diarra had a school-tying six blocked shots against Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 26, 2005.  The total was also the most blocks by a true freshman since Travis Canby registered four against Kansas on Feb. 27, 2002.

Non-Conference Play At Home A Success

Kansas State has posted at least eight non-conference wins in 21 of the last 25 seasons, including each of the last four seasons.  The Wildcats have earned a winning record in non-conference play in 34 consecutive seasons dating back to the 1972-73 season with 10 or more victories on 16 occasions. 

K-State has won 20 of its last 24 games against non-conference opponents, including a remarkable 18-1 (.947) mark at home.  The one setback at home came in a 76-66 loss to Rutgers at Bramlage Coliseum on Dec. 28, 2004, which the Wildcats’ avenged on Nov. 15 in a 55-41 victory in Piscataway, N.J.

Recapping the William & Mary Game

 *The game marked the first victory for Bob Huggins as the Kansas State head coach... Huggins is 568-199 with four different schools in his 25th year of coaching... He became the 15th K-State head coach to win his first game, joining legends Jack Gardner, Tex Winter and Jack Hartman.

*Kansas State moved to 79-24 all-time in season openers and 65-9 when debuting in Manhattan... The Wildcats have won 12 of their last 15 openers with all three losses coming on the road... The program has won 12 of their last 13 home openers... K-State is 202-80 all-time at Bramlage Coliseum.

*Head coach Bob Huggins moved to 21-1 all-time in season openers since going to Akron in 1984, including a perfect 18-0 mark in home games. 

*The paid attendance was 13,340... The actual attendance in Bramlage Coliseum was 11,340, making it the second-largest season-opening crowd in 20 years and the second-largest since Bramlage was opened in 1988... Kansas State’s largest season-opening crowd was Bramlage Coliseum’s grand-opening, an 81-77 win over Purdue on Nov. 26, 1988, which was witnessed by 13,304 fans... Despite not topping the record of the 1988 grand opening, the average attendance in Kansas State’s 18 home openers in Bramlage Coliseum before Saturday’s game was just 7,418.

*Lance Harris paced four players in double figures with 22 points... It marked the 31st time in his career he reached double figures and fourth time to break the 20-point barrier... David Hoskins’ 15 points marked his 21st double-figure scoring effort in 29 career games... Blake Young turned in 11 points to post double figures in his first career game... Akeem Wright posted 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his first career double-double.

*Freshmen Jason Bennett, Luis Colon and Chris Merriewether made their collegiate debuts, while junior Blake Young made his first Division I appearance after transferring from Daytona Beach Community College... Colon and Young made their first career starts in their first career games... Colon became the first true freshman to start an opener since Ed Nealy did it against Northern Iowa  on Nov. 25, 1978.


Season Tickets Sold Out

For the first time in the 19-year history of Bramlage Coliseum all available season-ticket packages have been sold.  The last time K-State could boast a sellout of its season tickets was 1982-83 when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House.

“There was no question when we hired Bob Huggins that interest in K-State basketball would be rekindled,” said Director of Athletics Tim Weiser.  “But to think we would reach this point so quickly ... it’s amazing.  This is just further evidence of the passion and support of K-State fans.”

Public and student season ticket allocations have accounted for approximately 13,000 of the 13,340 capacity of Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State will make available 300 tickets on an individual-game basis, which were already sold out for the Washburn exhibition game and the regular-season opener against William & Mary.  Tickets remain for K-State’s other non-conference games.  The individual-game allotment for Big 12 Conference games will go on sale Nov. 14 to Ahearn Scholarship Fund donors and season-ticket holders with a priority deadline of Dec. 7.

’Cats Chosen Fifth in Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll

The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, as the Wildcats were chosen fifth with 76 points.  Boosted by the hiring of legendary head coach Bob Huggins and the return of four starters and eight lettermen, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in nine preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 1998-99 when the team was selected sixth. 

For the seventh time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 121 total points and received all 11 possible first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  Texas A&M was picked second in the poll, as the Aggies received the other first-place vote and 109 points.  Oklahoma State and Texas were selected just ahead of the Wildcats in third and fourth place, respectively.  Texas Tech was chosen sixth with 68 points, while Baylor followed in seventh with 60 points for its highest predicted finish in Big 12 history.  Missouri (44) and Oklahoma (42) were picked eighth and ninth, respectively, while Nebraska (37), Iowa State (23) and Colorado (20) rounded out the poll. 


The Book on Tennessee Tech

Tennessee Tech opened the 2006-07 season with a resounding 110-69 win over Bluefield College on Monday night.  The Golden Eagles shot 51.2 percent from the field and had four players reach double figures led by junior Anthony Fisher’s 18 points.  Senior Amadi McKenzie produced a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.


The Golden Eagles return two starters and 10 lettermen from the 2005-06 season, which produced a 19-12 overall record and 13-7 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play.  Fisher is the team’s top returning scorer at 12.9 points per game, including a 13.6 points per average in Ohio Valley Conference play.  Senior reserve Belton Rivers averaged 12.0 points per game, while McKenzie averaged 8.9 points and a team-high 5.4 rebounds as a sophomore.     

Tennessee Tech is coached by fifth-year head coach Mike Sutton, a former assistant to Tubby Smith at Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky.  He became the winningest first-year coach in school history with 20 wins in 2003-04 then followed with the Ohio Valley Conference title in 2004-05.


Series Versus Tennessee Tech

Kansas State won its only meeting against Tennessee Tech in its history with an 89-61 victory over the Golden Eagles at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 27, 1985.  The Wildcats are 9-1 all-time against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference, including a 5-0 mark at home. 

A former rival coach in the Ohio Valley Conference, head coach Bob Huggins has a 6-2 all-time mark against Tennessee Tech in his coaching career.  Seven of his eight contests against the Golden Eagles came during his five-year stint at Akron (1984-89) when the Zips played in the Ohio Valley.  After losing his first two meetings against Tech during the 1984-85 season, Huggins has won each of the last six meetings, which includes his last five meetings at Akron and one meeting at Cincinnati.  The Eagles nearly upset his 23rd-ranked Bearcat squad in the 2002-03 opener, falling 54-48 on Nov. 23, 2002.

Up Next: New Mexico (3-0)

Kansas State hits the road on Tuesday, Nov. 21, as the Wildcats travel to the historic Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., to face high-flying New Mexico (3-0) at 6 p.m.  The Lobos are a perfect 3-0 on the season after dismantling Big 12 foe Colorado, 106-65, on Tuesday night at home.  The team is averaging 96.3 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting and has won their first three games by an average of 38.0 points.  The Lobos are led by a pair of transfer -- J.R. Giddens formerly of Kansas and Aaron Johnson, formerly of Penn State.  Giddens is averaging a team-best 20.7 points per game to go with 8.3 rebounds per game, while Johnson has been a monster on the boards, averaging a team-high 10.7 rebounds per game to go with 7.3 points.